Green Design Jim

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Greener Pastures

I recently read an interview with Peter Kareiva of The Nature Conservancy and how he is becoming UCLA’s Director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. It struck a few chords with me.

I remember when smog was the issue of the day and our clean air laws went to cleaning up the pollution. As that issue started to improve, global warming and the carbon index became the talk of the town. Remember when the trash landfills were all filling up? Are there enough parks in your neighborhood? How about the amount of time you spend in traffic? Now the use of water is the big issue. All of these subjects are tied together by people’s values! What do you want in life? How fast do you want it? Are you trying to get a fast turnaround in your investments? Who wins and who loses? Your values set all these trends!

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Water use and Food perception at the Market

Governor Jerry Brown has once again tightened the water restrictions in California because of our serious drought. As I watched the MSNBC documentary "Just Eat It" on food waste in the USA and then saw the Los Angeles Times article “Lake Mead water level falls to a landmark low, and is likely to get worse”. I began to put the food waste and water issue together and came up with a simpler solution to the Drought and the way we use water.

When I look at water use on crops, crop waste, and the perception of the way our fruits and vegetables look on the market shelves, market merchandising for the sale of their fruits and vegetables I can see a simple, very simple solution, that accomplishes a great savings in the use of water! It saves money for the consumer. It saves and makes money for the farmer. It would reduce the need to fallow crops for more could be sold on a smaller foot print at a greater profit More food would be available. So, what is it I see?

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Effort is directly related to passion. If you are passionate enough you will go above the call of duty to achieve the best results you can vision. Whether your time is spent keeping abreast of the problems related to design issues, communicating in a closed loop process to manage time in a cost effective way, or covering issues related to office management and design processes in a pro-active way, these are the ways in which effort will help create great design, schedule, and a smooth construction process. This is the way to stay ahead of the entire process. It leads to a successful practice. Our history is a testament to 30 years of effort with over 2000 projects.

The client can make this effort very cost effective. Especially when they understand the communication required to keep the highest level of effort all the way through a project. With the highs and lows of any enterprise the key is to maintain the effort. Look at the effort professional sports teams need to maintain a winning record. This is also true in architecture. Every day a team member is low on effort, the client is spending more or losing some opportunity in or within their development project, large or small. Communication, the correct direction from the entire team including the client, the right design, the right fee structure all assist in keeping the energy and effort at a high level.

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Thumbtack - Referral Based Clients

With as long of a history as JHAI has, why would we join a network of referral based clients? A diversified architectural company like ours continually provides services for all types of clients. To keep new clients coming into the fold is always a sign of a company’s strength and keeps us sharp and excited about our work. Joining social media and actively participating within it get JHAI greater exposure. Thumbtack provides another vehicle in which to maintain and expand our client base. It also validates our services at a higher level, in that they pre-qualify our abilities, history, and financial backbone. We are looking for clients that look for professional services, whether for consultation or full architectural services. We enjoy meeting and assisting new people and companies with new ideas, new ways of doing business, which add to our approximate 2000 projects and 1000 clients. A diversified client and project pool meets our professional goals. This is what we are set up to do!


Going above and beyond the primary scope of architectural services usually cannot be seen as you proceed through a project. You see it once built and then the appreciation enters your mind. If you are a first time client or a fully seasoned development machine the end result for you on the quality of the design, schedule, budgets, users efficiency, maintenance, flexibility all come down to the pride in which services are rendered. To achieve all the parameters at a high level is not easy, especially in these times of ever changing processes, communications, government restrictions, financing issues, and many other parameters. Having the stamina and strength of repeated leadership roles, team playing can be a lot to digest for anyone.

I and my company, JHAI, are truly engaged in assisting our clients to maximize their specific goals in achieving a successful project, one at a time. Each project is unto itself and treats with extreme care and follow up. We want a successful project as much or more than each of our clients. Without the success of each project we could lose a lot of credibility. Our success rate is close to 100% on over 2000 projects and hundreds of clients. Each project gives us the tools to do even better the next time for we do not believe in just maintaining our current abilities but we want to expand on our ability to lead. The" Architect" is the conductor of the whole design team in most cases. Each project leads to another opportunity to exceed our client’s expectations. Understanding each team member’s expectations is very important to how each participant views the project during its active phases and at project close out.


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